CONFLICT BETWEEN NEWLANDS WEST BUSES AND TAXIS
By: Amanda Mqadi
Newlands West taxi owners and drivers have brought about a new change to the public transport system to discontinue the operation of buses within some parts of the area.
The conflict between the taxis and buses started early this year.
Some of the taxi owners and drivers gathered with shambocks and guns at the Newlands West rank, stopping buses from going to certain areas.
According to Sinqobile Vilakazi (34), a Newlands West resident, local buses have been operating since in the 1990’s in Newlands West and there has never been any disputes before.
“The buses moved from all parts of Newlands West from 5 o’clock in the morning till 7 o’clock in the evening,” said Vilakazi.
Scelo Dube, a former Newlands West taxi driver said that the reason he stopped driving Newlands West taxis is because of the local buses and he was losing money.
“The taxi fare is R12 and buses are only charge R9, and we have lost a lot of money because passengers would rather go to buses than taxis,” said Dube.
“Local buses overload passengers, this is what made the taxi drivers very angry and startedcomplaining about having to lose a lot of money because of buses,” added Dube.
He said that these buses are not even municipal buses, they should operate somewhere else, not at their place.
Mnambithi Mnguni, a taxi owner and a driver said this is only the beginning, the buses might not be operating in the Riverdene area, but soon they will make sure they do not operate
within the whole place.
“We have told the bus drivers so many times to raise the bus fare prices, so that the difference will be R2 or R1, but they are refusing,” said Mnguni.
He said this has forced them to make them stop operating in some areas.
“As a taxi driver, it is very hard when you have to spend an entire hour looking for passengers, or having to go to town with a shortage of passengers,” added Mnguni.
He added that this will get ugly if they do not raise their prices and let them operate in peace.